Clearly, by just examining the authors who challenged your team's findings, you hit a very raw nerve. Shakespeare said it best, "The lady doth protest too loudly." You and your coauthors should be proud. (attached)
I must say your and your colleagues' paper brought out the Interphone gang. Most, if not all of the authors on the first letter are authors of the German Interphone studies. Joachim Schüz is also an author on the German and Danish Interphone studies, and the Danish Cohort study of cellphone subscribers.
This latter study, totally funded by industry, found being a cellphone subscriber significantly protects the subscriber from all cancers, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, other dementia, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis (>10 years), epilepsy (men), lung cancer (men), cancer of the larynx, buccal cavity/pharynx cancer (men), esophageal cancer (men), stomach cancer (men), kidney cancer (men), pancreatic cancer (men), and brain tumors (>10 years). This is not reported as protection but rather as not risk.
Give me a call and I can tell you more.
The second Letter is authored by two industry types. Again, "The lady doth protest too loudly." Interestingly, while the protest they are careful not to interfere with the Interphone researches they say nothing about industry's interference in the Interphone Protocol (both the published portion, and the more important unpublished portion) which tells the researcher the procedures they must follow.
Stang, the author of the second Letter is the lead author on the first eye cancer study that reported a significant, 4/2 fold risk of eye cancer but, working with Schüz's Interphone study data, Stang effectively denounced his previous study using Interphone Protocol procedures. They used the same controls used in the Schuz's German Interphone glioma & meningioma study. Besides have a set of results showing statistically significant protection, this second Stang study had such a low control participation rate (56%) that it was a set up for major selection bias problems. Doesn't this sound familiar?
What truly amazes me about the Stang letter is how they challenge cut-off points ("Myung et al arbitrarily used a cutoff of 7 points to distinguish between low bias and high bias studies.") when Stang et al.'s use of cut-offs in their second study was beyond arbitrary. In their second study where they found no risk of eye cancer, they used the controls of the German Interphone glioma study and the cutoff points chosen were from these same controls. In a email sent to Stang shortly after the publication of his second study I asked him, "The cut points you used are the same cut points used in the German Interphone study on the risk of brain tumors (glioma and meningioma) from cellphone use. This German study based its cut points on the cellphone use of controls, but was studying the risk of cases. Further, in the German Interphone study 61% glioma controls and 69% o meningioma controls had never used a cellphone. And in your study the number of controls who had never used a cellphone was a remarkably different 17% and 24% depending on the control group. Finally you were studying the risk of uveal melanoma from cellphone use. If uveal melanoma cases use cellphone substantially different than the controls from a very different study, then this would introduce unnecessary bias. Why not use cut points based on the use of uveal melanoma cases?" No adequate answer was received.
Lastly, and with respect, your comments about the COSMOS study you write, "We are looking forward to the results of the COSMOS (cohort study of mobile phone use and health), as this study may provide stronger evidence about the health effects of mobile phones." Not only are cohort studies inappropriate for rare diseases such as brain tumor, but the COSMOS study is having such major recruitment problems that Germany has already withdrawn from the study. In the UK only 5.1% have consented to be in the study, and for all countries (UK, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Holland) 18% have consented to be in the study. (See COSMOS study attachments; note particularly slide 28 from the Germans). Additionally the COSMOS study is another industry funded study. In my view, the purpose of the COSMOS study is that we should wait for 25 years to get the definitive answer. By that time, the definitive answer will be available by counting bodies.
My best regards,
PS: You have my permission to forward this email to your co-authors.
IF WE DON'T LOOK, WE CANNOT FIND
Researchers: Customers drive our professional reviews
Some years ago there were rumors that he had lost loads of the Cancer Society money on the stockmarket.
----- Original Message -----
From: Henrik Eiriksson
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2010 1:15 PM
Subject: Researchers: Customers drive our professional reviews
Hi Iris Atzmon,
from Denmark yesterday:
Researchers: Customers drive our professional reviews
"There may be reason to be wary when scientists speak as independent experts. New survey shows that scientists are influenced by their customers - both private and public."
See here, via Google-translate:
I don't have time to clean up the translation right now, but I think it's clear enough for a start.
(original link: http://ing.dk/artikel/107885-forskere-kunder-styrer-vores-faglige-vurderinger
Maybe Mr J. Schüz and the Danish Cancer Society would like to comment?? No? ..ok, I thought not ;-).
Oh, I just heard the the director of the Danish Cancer Society (D.C.S), Mr. Arne Rolighed, is stepping down. The media says it's because his 10 year contract has ended (that's what Repacholi said aswell). Some years ago there were rumors that he had lost loads of the Societies money on the stockmarket, and shortly afterwards there came some strange initiatives from the D.C.S, like the first "no risk" Danish Cohort study, a campaign for recycling old cellphones to developing countries and a nationwide money-collection in support of D.C.S (they called it "support the battle against cancer", but we know it's all for their profit).